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£27k lottery grant to restore Great Harwood clock tower
12:30pm Friday 22nd March 2013 in News
GREAT Harwood’s famous clock tower will be given a new lease of life this summer with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Grade II-listed building is receiving £27,500 to transform it from its current dilapidated state.
A new collection of educational resources about the town’s history, and the clock tower’s namesake John Mercer, will also be developed.
Great Harwood councillor Ciaran Wells said: “The funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund is a massive boost for the town and we are thrilled to have recieved their support.”
Sarah Hilton, head of Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said: “Mercer Memorial Clock Tower is an important local landmark in the heart of Great Harwood, and represents a key part of the town’s rich industrial history. Local people will be able to learn about, and enjoy, the story of the tower, and John Mercer, for many years to come.”
An opening event for the improved clock tower will take place later this year, which hopes to match the emotion of the original opening in 1903.
Famous scientist John Mercer was the mind behind cotton Mercer-isation, a process which improves the quality of fabrics. Mercer died in 1866, with the clock tower unveiled 37 years later in his memory.
Events will be held to educate local people about the life of the town’s most successful scientist. “I think it’s important because everybody knows the clock tower, but not everyone knows the history behind it,” said Coun Wells.
The lottery grant is not the only project helping to redevelop the area. Pen- nine Reach, organised by the county and borough councils, aims to boost the bus network between Accrington and Darwen.
The clock tower project is led by Hyndburn Council, Great Harwood Civic Society, and Great Harwood Community Action Group.